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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: New Orleans Pelicans

Pelicans also looking to trade Eric Bledsoe?

Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe’s time with the New Orleans Pelicans may end up being brief.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on “The Hoop Collective” this week that the Pelicans have shopped Bledsoe. Windhorst also confirmed earlier reports that the team is doing the same with Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick.

The interest in Ball has primarily been coming from within the West. Redick though is mainly drawing interest from the East.

Meanwhile, Bledsoe, a multi-time All-Defensive selection, was just acquired by New Orleans over the summer in the Jrue Holiday trade with Milwaukee. But he has struggled to start his Pelicans career. Bledsoe is averaging 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game this season. Those are the worst numbers that the 31-year-old has ever posted as a full-time starter.

Second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker has carved out a consistent role for himself in New Orleans’ rotation this season. Rookie Kira Lewis Jr. is also knocking on the door of increased playing time. That is probably why the Pelicans sound determined to unclutter their backcourt a bit via trade.

H/T HoopsHype

Report: These three contenders have interest in JJ Reddick

JJ Redick

The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly open to trading JJ Redick, and it sounds like the veteran sharpshooter could land with one of three Eastern Conference contenders.

Reddick has drawn interest from the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. New Orleans has focused on talks with those three teams to this point.

Redick’s family lives in the Brooklyn area, and Charania reports that the 36-year-old would prefer to play for a team in the northeast. Any of the aforementioned teams meet that criteria.

Redick played for the 76ers for two seasons prior to joining the Pelicans. He is currently playing under a $13.1 million expiring contract.

The Pelicans are off to a 7-11 start in a very competitive Western Conference. It seems highly unlikely that they will make the playoffs, which is why they are open to trading Redick and another key player.

Photo: Verse Photography/Flickr via CC-by-SA 2.0

Pelicans reportedly want significant return for Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball

The New Orleans Pelicans are said to be listening to offers for Lonzo Ball, but they are not going to simply give the former No. 2 overall pick away.

Following up on a report that the Pelicans are open to trading Ball and/or JJ Redick, SNY’s Ian Begley was told by sources that Ball will only be traded “for the right asking price.” One team familiar with the situation told Begley the Pelicans will not deal Ball unless the return is significant.

Ball is set to become a restricted free agent after the season. It’s possible the Pelicans are not planning to bring him back. New Orleans is off to a 6-10 start in a strong Western Conference, so they may be more inclined to trade Ball if they fall further from contention.

The Pelicans want to build around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and trading Ball and/or Redick would create more opportunities for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis to develop.

Ball, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has averaged 12.0 points and 4.7 assists per game this season. We know of at least one contending team that may have interest in acquiring him.

Report: Pelicans open to trading Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick

Lonzo Ball

The New Orleans Pelicans have gotten off to a slow start this season, and they may soon be open for business on the trade market.

The Pelicans have been receiving calls about Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that they have shown a willingness to deal both.

Ball is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, and it’s possible New Orleans may not care to bring him back. Redick, a veteran shooter, won’t be of much use to the 5-10 Pelicans if they continue to struggle, and he would draw plenty of interest from contending teams.

Sources told Charania that the Pelicans have been pleased with the job Stan Van Gundy has done in his first season. They want to build around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and trading Ball and/or Redick would create more opportunities for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis to develop.

Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, has averaged 12.0 points and 4.7 assists per game this season. We know of at least one contending team that may have interest in acquiring him.

Lonzo Ball will not sign rookie contract extension with Pelicans

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball’s long-term future with the New Orleans Pelicans is in some doubt.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Ball and the Pelicans have ended talks about a long-term extension, meaning the guard will become a restricted free agent next summer. Ball’s agent, Rich Paul, stated that the two sides remain optimistic that something will eventually be worked out.

Monday is the deadline for eligible players to sign rookie contract extensions, so this is an indication that Ball and the Pelicans probably weren’t particularly close to an agreement as the deadline loomed. It’s clear that the Pelicans would like to keep Ball, though, and they would be able to match any offer the guard receives next summer even without a new contract extension.

Ball has won plaudits from his teammates and seems to have found a home in New Orleans. It’s pretty clear that there’s still an opening, and even a mutual interest, in getting something done. It just won’t happen until the summer now.

Photo: Erik Drost/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Grading the Bucks’ trade for Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans

Jrue Holiday

With the start of the NBA season rapidly approaching, teams are getting a firsthand look at how their offseason additions will blend on their new squads. For teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, this is an optimistic yet crucial time. Following consecutive premature playoff exits, the Bucks entered the offseason eager to improve their roster, with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impending 2021 free agency looming large. Entering the season with a championship-or-bust mentality, the Bucks swung for the fences in their trade to acquire Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Originally only supposed to be a two-team swap, Milwaukee and New Orleans expanded the Jrue Holiday deal to include the Denver Nuggets and perpetually-active Oklahoma City Thunder, creating a blockbuster four-team trade. When the dust settled, the team’s returns were as followed:

Here is a look at our grades for each team involved in the trade.

(more…)

Stan Van Gundy to be named head coach of Pelicans

Stan Van Gundy

Stan Van Gundy took two years off from coaching after he was fired by the Detroit Pistons in 2018, but he will return to the sideline next season.

Van Gundy has agreed to a deal to become the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, according to multiple reports.

Van Gundy, 61, has 12 total seasons of NBA head coaching experience. He last coached the Pistons from 2014 to 2018, making just one playoff appearance during that span. Van Gundy also previously coached the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. This will be his first head coaching gig in the Western Conference.

The Pelicans fired head coach Alvin Gentry in August and have an excellent core of young players to build around. Van Gundy’s brother Jeff, who has been a broadcaster for several years, actually had gotten more buzz as a coaching candidate this offseason.

Tyronn Lue was also considered a candidate for the Pelicans job, but he was instead promoted by the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Pelicans finished 30-42 last season and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. They are hoping Van Gundy’s experience will be an asset for young superstar Zion Williamson.

Saints, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was victim of auto theft attempt

Gayle Benson

New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was involved in an auto theft attempt recently, but fortunately she was not harmed.

Saints and Pelicans senior vice president of communications Greg Bensel issued a statement on Friday confirming that Benson was the victim of an auto theft incident in New Orleans. While the 73-year-old was “very shaken,” she was unharmed and is now doing fine.

According to a police report obtained by WDSU-TV, Benson was seated in her car on Saturday night when a white truck parked directly beside her. One of the suspects entered Benson’s vehicle and she ordered the man to leave. The suspects then returned to their truck and fled the scene.

Police in New Orleans are still investigating.

Benson became the principal owner of the Saints and Pelicans when her husband Tom died in 2018. She is the first woman to be a majority shareholder in both an NFL and NBA franchise.

Report: Tyronn Lue interviewing with three teams for head coach jobs

Tyronn Lue

One of the most in-demand NBA coaching candidates has an extensive slate of interviews lined up this weekend.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Tyronn Lue is meeting with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday afternoon. He has meetings with the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets lined up over the weekend.

Lue has won an NBA title and is well-regarded in NBA circles. He spent last season as an assistant coach with the Clippers, so he may have the inside track on that job.

This puts Lue in the mix for three of the five vacant NBA head coaching jobs. He hasn’t been linked to the Oklahoma City Thunder or Indiana Pacers.

Report: Tyronn Lue to interview for Rockets, Pelicans head coaching jobs

Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue spent the 2019-20 season as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers, but it sounds like he may have an opportunity to choose between multiple head coaching jobs heading into next year.

Lue is considered by many to be the favorite to replace Doc Rivers as the head coach of the Clippers. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he will also interview with the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans for their head coaching vacancies.

Each of those three jobs should appeal to Lue. The draw with the Clippers is obvious, as they are a championship contender and Lue has already established a relationship with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Rockets have just as much star power with James Harden and Russell Westbrook. In New Orleans, Lue would have an opportunity to coach one of the best young players in the NBA in Zion Williamson.

Lue coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for three-plus seasons, including their LeBron James-led championship team in 2015-16. He has drawn widespread head coaching interest around the NBA, so it is only a matter of time before he gets another job. It would be tough to imagine him turning down the Clippers, but there are multiple enticing opportunities out there at the moment.